Columnists

Thu
10
Sep

Remembering 9/11

Anthony DeFeo

I was about a month away from turning 11 when the towers fell. A sense of safety — even invincibility — among Americans crumbled along with them that day.

But I didn’t exactly understand the gravity of the situation, as a sixth-grader sitting in Shore Road Intermediate Center in Bellmore. 

My hometown was a quiet Long Island suburb, about 25 miles from Manhattan as the crow flies.

Lunchtime came around, and nobody was allowed to go outside. 

No recess is the first sign for a kid that something is amiss.

“What happened?” asked many, sitting in the school cafeteria.

Fri
04
Sep

Nature Scenes by Lynn Bowen

This is the young reddish egret resting a moment at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Reddish egrets have effective techniques for hunting fish
The long-legged, long-necked, 30-inch-tall reddish egret waded in the salty, shallow water at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in January, enjoying the cool, clear weather.
An adult reddish egret looks elegant with its slim, gray, 1-pound body and reddish upper chest, neck and head. Shaggy plumes adorn the neck. Its alert eyes are yellow.
But the one I saw at Merritt Island refuge must have been a juvenile, since its gray and red colors were quite pale. Even its legs were pale, while an adult’s are dark. Males and females look alike.

Thu
03
Sep

Labor, Luddites and Christianity

Back in my youth, there were legions of elevator operators, and zillions of clerk-typists and secretaries, telephone operators, and retail clerks who stamped the retail price on cans and packages, and factories actually employed workers — not machines made in Asia. All those jobs are gone today — eradicated by technological advancements! Moreover, other American jobs have been abolished by offshoring — after all, labor is cheaper in Asia than in the United States, and “free enterprise” always seeks the lowest cost.

Mon
31
Aug

Joe Biden a good guy who can’t win

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

Well, the prophecy is revealed. And it’s happening faster than I ever believed. I hoped it would transpire in November 2016. But, alas, Democrats have figured out what I’ve known for years. Hillary Clinton cannot be president. She won’t be president.

I find it curious that Vice President Joe Biden is the best alternative. An establishment Democrat who’s an old white guy is the savior? And please, my friends, don’t tell me about Sen. Bernie Sanders. United States voters and the Democrat Party aren’t ready for an aging socialist. Bernie won’t be controlled.

What’s laughable is how the mainstream leftist media are cultivating Uncle Joe’s emergence. Biden visited Harvard Law professor and Sen. Elizabeth Warren last weekend. I’m really not sure why that was news. Warren is the thief who would take your 401(k) or IRAs and pool them together to be distributed among those who didn’t contribute as much. She’s a real nut job, comrades.

Mon
31
Aug

Right wing tries to destroy Planned Parenthood

Russ White

Russ White

Conservatives have little, or no, ethics when it comes to undermining the activities of organizations they do not like. In 2009-10, a series of wildly inaccurate and selectively edited hidden-camera exposés were used to create a false sense of outrage against the community-activist group the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, commonly referred to as ACORN.

ACORN provided much-needed support services to disadvantaged communities all over the U.S., as well as in Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Peru. Their activities included work in areas such as neighborhood safety, affordable housing, and health care.

Mon
31
Aug

Between the Lines: Money grab underway now!

Al Everson

BEACON PHOTO
Al Everson

Your local elected officials are in a taxing frenzy this year.

Officials of Volusia County, the cities and the School Board are poised to raise taxes. The county and cities are doing so with a vengeance.

Our elected leaders say the economy is recovering after the prolonged slump, and now is the time to make up for all those “lean” years of “austerity” and “sacrifice” — when we had to get by with a few fewer paper shufflers and bureaucrats.

While we like to talk about “government of the people, by the people and for the people,” the truth is, there is a divide between government and the people. What is good for one is not necessarily good for the other.

Thu
27
Aug

William C. Hall: The great casino

William C. Hall

William C. Hall

This week, the TV news was all about the stock market “crashing!” The world is ending! Sell! Buy! Hysteria is abundant in stock markets.

The stock market is not a place where “investors” studiously pursue long-term financial gains by purchasing stocks in companies that the Wall Street moguls believe will flourish. The stock market rises primarily on speculation. That is to say, it is a casino where gamblers (mostly betting with other people’s money) place bets on the anticipated rise or fall of stocks individually or collectively without regard for the social consequences of their bets (for many decades, tobacco was a big player in the stock market, albeit their profits were derived from the perpetual production of disease and death).

Mon
24
Aug

Nature Scenes: Lynn Bowen

northern pintail

This male northern pintail paddled with his webbed feet at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge’s marsh in January, not minding the wind and cold temperature.

“Greyhound of the air” is the nickname of the beautiful northern pintail. This slim, graceful duck walks well on land, swims great, and flies superbly since nature gave it long, narrow wings with a 34-inch wingspan. The northern pintail has a long, beautiful black tail that is one-fourth of its body length and earned the bird its name.

Mon
24
Aug

Russ White: President Jimmy Carter an honorable role model

Russ White

Americans are getting a chance to say goodbye. In a heartwarming and classy press conference last Thursday, President Jimmy Carter told us about his advanced cancer and his expected course of treatment. At age 90, he is realistic about his prognosis, and, as a man of deep faith, is at peace with his fate.

The Carter presidency is one that garners vastly different memories depending on who is doing the remembering. Massive upheaval in the world at the time makes his administration an easy target for those with a propaganda ax to grind, and they have taken full advantage of it, claiming the Carter presidency to be the “worst of all time.”

Mon
24
Aug

Scribbled on the backs of receipts: Old is the new new

Kate Kowsh

It may be new to me, but my home is about 15 minutes away from being a century old. This is something my husband, Jon, hasn’t let me forget since I begged him to buy the place last year. He usually shouts reminders of this fact from under our crawl space, as he’s making the ever-important initial meeting with the leader of the possum community that summers in our air-conditioning vents. Or he slips it in over the sound of his angry circular saw, as it slices a new hole into the side of our home to replace supports for the teetering bedroom window.

Say what you will about old homes — I love them. Especially mine. It’s a two-story farmhouse, built in 1926 on an old orange grove out in west DeLand. The grove is long-gone, but the house, with its vintage original pine-wood floors, and original banister that punctuates my split staircase, is big on charm.

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